Our thoughts and prayers here at Sportsnaut goes out to the family of Richard Durrett, who passed away Tuesday evening at the young age of 38.
Durrett had been with ESPN since 2009. He served as a writer for ESPN.Dallas, covering the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys, among other teams.
As a respected writer and sports mind, Durrett’s loss is felt throughout the entire journalism community.
Patrick Stiegman, ESPN vice president and editorial director, had the following to say about Durrett and his passing late Tuesday night.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Richard Durrett, who covered the Texas Rangers and other sports for ESPN Dallas for the past five years…Richard, 38, was a dedicated colleague and friend who was extremely respected and well-liked. He was known for creativity and an exceptional work ethic throughout his ESPN tenure, and nearly a decade at The Dallas Morning News before that.
He will be deeply missed by his friends, colleagues and many sports fans he enlightened every day. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his wife, Kelly, and two children, Owen and Alice.
Others close to Durrett provided their thoughts on his passing and the short, but full life that he lived.
It would be impossible to put together a list of better people in this business than Richard Durrett because no one would be on it.
— Anthony Andro (@aandro) June 18, 2014
I lost one of my brothers today. A great man, a great father, a great friend and a great writer. Richard Durrett will be missed.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) June 18, 2014
Devastating news about Richard Durrett, one of nicest people I've known in 26 years in the business.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 18, 2014
It was hard to get through that sportscast tonight. My heart hurts knowing Richard Durrett passed away today. He has two young kids. #RIP
— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) June 18, 2014
I absolutely adored Richard Durrett. I am so sad and shocked. Business lost one of the good guys
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) June 18, 2014
I'm truly, deeply saddened about Richard Durrett's passing and ask all who can to support his young family. A genuinely nice person.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) June 18, 2014
I'm am numb. I'm crushed to hear Richard Durrett died tonight. He and I had some great times on the radio. Incredible partner & person.
— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) June 18, 2014
There are so many more out there who loved and respected Durrett as a writer and a man. A former “competitor” of his from Fox Sports Midwest, Anthony Andro, had this to say about a man that, unfortunately most of us know more about in death than in life.
Richard, who had worked for ESPN Dallas since 2009, was the kind of guy who would transcribe quotes for you and send them your way while you were driving to another site just because. It didn’t matter that you were working against him or that you would beat him with the story.
The death of Richard makes no sense but I consider myself lucky because he was a friend. Sure I’ve cried but that’s because I’m selfish. I enjoyed my time with Richard and wanted more. I should feel fortunate that he was part of my life.
I was fortunate enough to have a couple conversations with Durrett here and there. A specific conversation some point last year focused on the Rangers and a question I had about Nolan Ryan for an article. Durrett didn’t hesitate, no matter how busy he was at that time, to answer. Based on some of the stories that we have read since his passing, this was par for the course for Durrett in his interactions with others.
The Texas Rangers also released a statement.
Mr. Durrett earned the respect of team management and field personnel for his fair and thorough coverage on the Rangers beat,” the statement said. “Mr. Durrett was a versatile journalist in every sense of the word with both his written and electronic coverage.
It’s fitting to leave you with a few words from Durrett himself in an article he wrote to his children back in 2011 after a man tragically passed away at a Rangers game. His words are as poignant tonight as ever before.
Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire ESPN community, his wife Kelly and the two young children he leaves behind. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense, but at least we know he left an enduring legacy in the minds of many.